Do you find your piano going sharp in the mid-section in winter?
Do you find that 3 weeks after the weather changes to dry your piano has gone flat in the mid-section?
Do you want to preserve the life of your piano for your children or grandchildren to enjoy?
Do you want to enjoy the sound of your piano for the full year till it is tuned next?
If your answer to any of these questions is YES, then it would be to your advantage to read on.
Piano Life Saver Systems help in the control of humidity changes.
Pianos are made of Wood and an iron frame. Wood will swell and shrink with changes in Humidity (see my Blog article on how humidity affects pianos)
There is a safety zone of between 35 and 55 percent that pianos will stay stable in. However, in Perth and Western Australian country areas the humidity can range between 15 and 95 percent.
Piano Life Saver Systems are made by Dampchasser in America and need to be fitted by an experienced piano technician with ARPT Accreditation.
Why? Good question. The better the Piano Life Saver System is fitted the better it will work. ARPT Technicians have the experience to know what will happen to your piano when the Piano Life Saver System is fitted.
At Piano Magic we can tell when is the best time for fitting the system to your piano.
What type of system to fit? This is very important.
We have different systems if your piano is over 50 years’ old. These systems are ordered and produced only for Piano Magic.
We carry a full system with us when tuning. We have a full range of spare parts if your system has any sort of electronic failure.
How does the system work?
The system has a humidistat that measures the humidity inside the piano. If the humidity is low the humidistat turns on the humidifier till the humidity raises to the correct level. Then if the humidity is too high it turns on the de-humidifier. It then continues to cycle 24 hours a day. Yes, you need to keep it plugged in and turned on to have continues protection.
The system has a light to tell you it is plugged in, a light to warn you when the system needs water and a light to warn you that you have not filled it up and the whole system is dry. Or has not been maintained.
How do I put water into the Piano Life Saver System? Good question. Down below is a picture description of how to fill the system.
How much power does it use?
In Perth it will use about $60 a year. In different environments it will change a little.
How much water will it use and how often will I need to fill it up?
Generally, the system will go for 2 too 3 weeks before needing more water however I have known systems to go for up to 6 weeks.
This will depend on the type of air conditioning you have. Evaporative, longer between fill up. Reverse cycle about 2 weeks between fill up.
What maintenance does a Piano Life Saver System need?
Because the system works on evaporation to raise the humidity it is better to use water that done not leave a residue.
If you use normal tap water, then the evaporation pads will need to be changed every 6 months as per instruction with the unit.
These pads are available from Piano Magic.
My preference is Rain Water. In my experience the pads only need to be changed once a year at tuning time if rain water is used.
The same goes for distilled water. The best distilled water I have experienced is out of the clothes dryer that has a condenser.
It is recommended to use a pad treatment that is supplied with the unit. One cap full with every top up of water.
When tuning piano I have been recommending and selling Piano Life Saver Systems for over 5 years. I started selling about 2 a week and now in my tuning week I would tune and service at least 6 to 8 pianos with Piano Life Saver Systems fitted. I am still fitting about 2 per week. If I’m tuning in the middle of winter the pianos with the system are all on pitch. I’m not pitching down the piano. In the summer I’m not having to do pitch raises. This helps me and it saves you money. A normal pitch raise or pitch down can cost from $110 to $165 plus the cost of the tune.
Call us now to book your fitting of your very own piano protection. A Piano Life Saver System fitted by Piano Magic.
How to fill your Damppchasser Piano Life Saver System
Just the Yellow light is flashing. If red light is also flashing then see below. We recommend using rain water or distilled water in the Damppchasser Piano Life Saver system as this increases the efficiency of the humidify side of the system by not clogging up the pads.
It is better to use any water than not to fill the reservoir when the yellow light is flashing.
(As the system works on evaporation it leaves behind all the solid particles in the water.)
First fill the water container supplied with the system to the red line.
Then add one cap-full of Damppchasser pad treatment. This kills the Mold and keeps the Mozzies out.
Under the key bed for upright and the rim on Grands is a filling tube.
There are 2 clips holding this in place. remove the tube from the clip and extend out and up.
Connect the tube over the spout on the filling container for about 1/2 inch or about 2 centimeters.
Lift the container up and on its end so all the water goes into the piano.
If the yellow light is flashing then all the water will fit. You need not have a fear that the system will overflow.
On a grand lift the container till the water starts to fill the tube then lower the container and hold till the bubbles run up the tube then lift the container to make the water siphon in. This way is much quicker.
IF THE RED LIGHT IS FLASHING.
If the red light is flashing and the yellow is not and you have filled the system recently it takes about 15 minutes for the water to wick up the pads to turn off the red light.
If your system has not been serviced recently it might be prudent to remove the bottom door of the piano by pushing the holding clip up to allow the door to pull forward. Some piano have a different holding clip.
If the blue pads look wet and free from white buildup call your tech or make sure the black plug in the middle of the Humidystat is connected.
If the red light is flashing after you have filled the system over 15 minuted ago call Gary or your tech to have the system checked. DO NOT REFILL with water unless the yellow light is flashing.
Fill the white filling container to the red line only.
( this amount of water will fill the piano reservior to the top)
Add 1 cap full of Pad Treatment
Pull the filler tube out from under the key bed.
Insert the end of the tube onto the spout of the filling container.
Lift the container and turn to allow the water to flow into the piano reservoir until the container is empty.
Then drop the container to the floor to collect any fluid left in the tube.
Disconnect the fill container from the tube and tuck the tube back under the keybed of the piano.
What to do if the Red light is flashing.
Red light flashing on the Damppchasser Piano Life Saver System.
If the red light is flashing this means your pads are dry and the humidify side of the system will not work.
There are 2 causes of this problem.
- The pads are dry because the water has run out in the reservoir. The yellow light is flashing as well and you need to put more water in the reservoir. (allow 15 minutes for the pads to soak up the water) The red light will go off then. this often occurs when you come back from a Holiday.
- The pads have not been changed. When you have your piano tuned, ask Gary or your tuner to bring new pads for your Piano Life Saver System.
- I recommend changing your pads twice a year in dry situations or using tap water and once a year if you use rain water or distilled water. Otherwise they will need to be changed twice a year. I am finding that Perth water is quite corrosive. It is better than no water.
Their is no fire risk if your Piano Life Saver System runs out of water. It automaticly turns off that side of the system.
Will my piano go out of tune if I turn off the Damppchasser Piano Life Saver System?
This will depend on the humidity of your room at the time. If it is at 40% to 60% you might not hear any change, however a prolonged period with the system off at 0% to 40% and or 60% to 100% will cause the piano to go badly out of tune.
Note: If your Piano Life Saver System has been turned off and your piano is booked for tuning. Allow 3 weeks for the piano to settle again before tuning. So you may need to re-book your tuning.. We recommend not turning off the system at all. Use a lightening protection adapter for your system.
Call Gary on if you are worried about you system. (7am to 7pm WST Australia) or better still send me an Email firstname.lastname@example.org